Lemon filled Lemon Cupcakes

Rich tangy lemon curd fills these tender lemony cupcakes. A creamy swirl of Swiss meringue buttercream tops them off for the perfect lemon treat!

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 Sometimes cupcakes are the best way to tell someone that they are special.  Filled cupcakes are the way to go the extra mile in that regard.  Filled cupcakes from scratch with homemade frosting always do the trick.  These are great for birthdays, parties, and just to say hey, you are awesome. 
 
I urge you to make your lemon curd from scratch.  I have used lemon pie filling from a can for recipes before, but it is nowhere nearly as good as lemon curd from scratch.  After a couple of tries, you will be able to make this stuff in your sleep. 
 
This was my first try with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but it was awesome.  You can pile this frosting high on your cupcake and not worry about killing anyone with a sugar overdose.  Its light and fluffy and contrasts nicely with the tart lemon.  It also pipes like a dream.

Tips For Success With Lemon Curd:

I read in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book The Cake Bible that mixing the egg yolks and sugar together helps to keep your curd from curdling.  No curdling equals no straining, which is awesome, because I hate straining.

For a long time I only had a splatter screen, which works but is kind of lame.  A fine mesh strainer is like $5 in the grocery store and makes my life much easier when I curdle my curd

 

To assemble:

1. Take cooled cupcake and with a paring knife cut a quarter sized cone out of each cupcake
2. Pipe (or spoon) curd into each hole
3. Pile high with frosting! (I used the Wilton 1M tip)

LEMON CURD FILLED CUPCAKES

Equipment

  • Mixer

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk use buttermilk, it neutralizes the baking powder

Instructions

  • If using a stand mixer, fit with paddle attachment. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Plunk (yes, plunk, this batter is thick) into muffin pan lined with cupcake wrappers.
  • Fill the wrappers about 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Notes

LEMON CURD

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 8 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • In a heavy pan mix the egg yolks and sugar together.
  • After mixing the egg yolks and sugar together, add the lemon juice and mix together.  Heat over medium heat until mixture thickens to where it coats the back of the spoon.
  • Do not let the mixture boil or really even almost boil or you will have curdling problems too.
  • Once the mixture thickens, remove from the heat. Add the butter and stir until melted.  If curdling occurred (i.e. there are little bits of scrambled egg in your curd) strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  • After straining, mix in the extracts.  If you prefer, you can use the zest from one lemon instead of the lemon extract. The high amount of lemon juice in this curd recipe makes it very lemony with or without extract.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 cups

Equipment

  • Mixer

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 pound 4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch of salt optional

Instructions

  • Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a bowl and set over a pan of simmering water.
  • Cook until the sugar is melted and warm.  You do not want to feel any of the sugar grain when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
  • Beat the egg/sugar mixture on high speed with whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the mixture cools down.  Switch to paddle attachment if you have one.
  • Add butter a few tablespoons at time until all the butter is incorporated.  Add the vanilla and beat until smooth.

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Happy Baking!

Sources:

Martha Stewart Cupcakes